SHAH ALAM: Keel laying for MMEA OPVs. Work on the first of class MMEA OPV is apparently going well. The yet to be unnamed ship will be jointly built with her two sister ships as the keel laying ceremony for the second and third vessel expected at the Tabung Haji Heavy Engineering shipyard at Pulau Indah, Port Klang, next month.
As you aware THHE JV with Destini Bhd, was awarded the contract to build the three vessels based on the Damen 1800 OPV design.
The latest CGI of the MMEA OPV being built by THHE Destini.
The keel laying ceremony for the first vessel was conducted on Dec. 20 last year. Despite the Malaysian Defence headline, work did not start on the ship immediately after the ceremony due to bureaucractic red tape. In fact it only started during DSA 2018, the third week of April.
A side view of the latest CGI of the MMEA OPV
Apparently work was delayed as THHE Destini had difficulties in importing the steel sourced from Damen from Singapore as it lacked the export permit for such products. I was told that the steel was only cleared for import after they changed the consignee to Destination Marine Services Sdn Bhd, the builder of the NGPC (also a company wholly owned by Destini). As Destination Marine had imported steel for shipbuilding for some time already it was the logical that it would be approved for such things compared to the new kid in the block (THHE Destini)
The stern view of the MMEA OPV
Anyhow presented here are the latest drawings for the MMEA OPV. If you look closely it appears that the OPV will have three mountings for heavy machine guns apart from the Aselsan 30mm SMASH main gun. Two HMG mountings are on the port and starboard of the bridge with the third one placed overlooking the helicopter deck.
Forward and aft CGI of the MMEA OPV
Word is that the THHE Destini is looking into a rotary UAV solution for the OPV instead of the Thales Fulmar X integrated into the NGPC.
An overhead CGI view of the MMEA OPV.
There are various rotary UAVs already marketed in Malaysia with the Schiebel camcopter operated by the Defence Intelligence Staff Division (DISD) so any of this could be chosen. I am told the final decision has not been made on the make.
Schiebel Campcopter S-100 VUAV of the MI/BSPP. The system is also deployed to ESSCOM.
In other news, the RMN is scheduled to decommission KD Mutiara at the Lumut naval base tomorrow. The fate of the hydrographic ship was sealed after the decision was made to lease commercial vessels for such duties as part of the 15 to 5 transformation plan.
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